When Your Wife Makes More Money Than You Do!
Rob Sturrock says that providing stability for your children is one of the most important things you can do, while the cost of living can be stressful.
So, does stability somehow mean in the form of money alone for fathers?
The Fact is that Men tend to have higher wages in certain industries, and this creates an economic situation when a family needs two breadwinners. This means fathers too often need to focus on full-time work before they can shift back to part-time or home situations with their children.
A dad’s love and their willingness to sacrifice for the wellbeing of their family is so important.
The Struggle to Find Identity For Fathers
— Though, we talk about fathers specifically in relation to the breadwinner role, which can be limiting. Papa deserves choice in how he wants to be involved with his children; he shouldn’t just be trapped in male breadwinner roles. —
Reflecting the messages they were told while young, many men have internalized that their identity as men is purely tied to them as earners and providers. Images like the one described send a clear message of women raising children, being in charge of the household, and taking on all housework, being more in line with a woman’s identity.
In the past, I believed what I learned at school. Being able to stand up for myself and make my own way in life seemed impossible. Now, I realize that the school wanted to teach me how to be a good citizen.
This is the same thing my dad had done; he did what society told him to do, and he did his best.
However, despite a successful career, this left me with an absent father.
After working all day and spending several hours traveling, my dad would walk in the door around 6:30 pm and drink a scotch before watching the evening news. This absence of mine only worsened when I was in high school as my dad traveled back and forth to Canberra for about ten years.
More Money or Time? We Must Choose
— Fathers are essential during this difficult stage of boyhood as they work out what it means to be a man but mine wasn’t there for much of that time because he was doing hard labour for money. —
Obviously, men are not biologically destined to be the primary breadwinner.
It wasn’t designed that way; it was just an economic side effect of the Industrial Revolution. That’s also when notions of fatherhood were born.
As fathers left the home to go to work, family time was lost. Factory and city life meant that men had less connection with their wives and children. New technologies created jobs at home which fathers spent most of the day doing.
This disconnection led to a father’s primary responsibility being his boss, not his wife or children.
Result of The Industrial Revolution
Changes that took place during the Industrial Revolution had society becoming less focused on domestic tasks, and shifted towards dads earning careers outside of their home. Moms picked up the task of how to take care of kids at home, while dads did for their jobs at work.
In the 21st century, to create a better world for dads, we need to revive old ways of fatherhood.
One example is that during the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, both mothers and fathers were jointly responsible for taking care of things at home. They would work on the land and be close to their families. Back then, men were stay-at-home dads who would do domestic tasks like crafts or making furniture for the family. In America during this time period, fathers were predominately in charge of raising their kids.
What are Your Thoughts about this in todays society? Leave me a comment!
This is an edited extract from Rob Sturrock’s book, published by Allen and Unwin, published on October 11th, 2018.
The myth of the breadwinner